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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Per Wickstrom: From Car Salesman to Addiction Entrepreneur

This laughable piece of Per Wickstrom propaganda appeared on the Huffington Post November 15, 2012
 
Wonder if his boy Mark Hergert helped him write it?
 
Nah! Dude can't even write his own name in the snow! 

From Addict to Entrepreneur: How I Overcame My Greatest Obstacle

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/per-wickstrom/addiction-recovery_b_2132044.html


The news is filled with stories about young tech entrepreneurs that make millions from selling their Internet technology to the big tech giants. Though these stories are inspirational, they portray an image of success that few people can actually relate to.
 

At a different spectrum of the United States, there are young people who are addicts and alcoholics, who have made poor decisions in life and can't relate to the successful entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley: They don't code websites, don't have an Ivy league education, and have tainted records because of their mistakes.

The obstacles that young people face seem insurmountable. But no matter how bad it gets, no matter what mistakes you've made in the past, and no matter how old you are, you can overcome anything, become successful, and lead a respectable, healthy life. I say this because I overcame my battles with addiction, a battle that raged for more than 22 years. After winning my battle, I now run one of the largest holistic rehabilitation centers in the United States and help thousands of people every year beat their addiction and start a new promising life. This is the story of how I did it and what I learned throughout the process.


My battle with addiction (what he said on The Huffington Post)
At the age of 14, my girlfriend broke up with me to be with one of my best friends. Overcome with grief, I sought comfort from any source that I could find and found my first beer. Instead of facing my problems, I learned to run away from them, and soon, beer lead to vodka, which lead to cocaine. Drugs became my way to escape any problems I had with family, money, relationships, or friends.

LET'S COMPARE NOTES: Here's what Wickstrom says on his personal blog:
I was first introduced to alcohol at the age of 13 when I was dumped by a girlfriend for one of my best friends. I began to dabble in marijuana as well and was eventually kicked out of my house at age 15. Living with people much older than me, I was introduced to cocaine while still in high school and began selling it as a means to support myself. (OK, 13 is just like 14 right?)

Huffington Post bio continues:
My battle with addiction raged for more than 20 years and four different treatment centers. It wasn't until the age of 38 that I finally hit rock bottom: I could no longer play sports, I could no longer enjoy football games, and I could no longer hang out with my friends -- all because of drugs. I was ready to become sober and found Narconon, the treatment center that changed my life.

What Wickstrom says on his personal blog (no mention of the vaunted COPS episode on HuffPo; could it be that a national audience might actually do the math and figure out that COPS premiered in 1989 and Wickstrom--born in 1959--was 27 in 1986?)
At 27, I was busted purchasing cocaine in a sting that made it onto an episode of COPS, becoming one of the most talked about episodes in the history of the show. Facing a mandatory 2-5 year prison sentence, I spent eight months in jail before my case reached a judge. When it did, my smooth talking ways got my sentence reduced to five years of probation and a $20,000 fine.

I found a higher purpose
Narconon saved my life. After graduation, I had to make a choice about what I wanted to do with my career: I could either go back to selling things (I was a terrific salesperson for GM), or I could dedicate my life to helping people. I realized that I was given a second chance at life and thus, found my higher calling: a dedication to helping people beat their addiction, just like I did.

I opened up my own Narconon center and saved more than 6,000 people throughout the course of several years. It felt great to help people and make a true difference in this world.

What he says on his personal blog
A stint at a Narconon revert program (meaning he went after falling off the wagon--again) finally got me clean and sober in January 2000 (when he was 41). I returned to work as a finance manager at a Chevrolet dealership outside of Ann Arbor, but began to look for a career that was more centered in helping others (or could it be helping yourself to what others have---money!)

The non-tech entrepreneur
Throughout my time leading a rehabilitation center, I studied and learned what techniques and methods were effective, and what weren't. I dedicated myself to my craft and developed my own course, different than any other curriculum in the industry.


Inspired and powered by my higher calling, I took a loan from the bank and started my own rehabilitation center that followed my own curriculum. Three years later, I run the largest holistic rehabilitation center in the United States that helps thousands of people every year recover from addiction and start a new life.

Lessons learned
No one is going to do it for you -- you have to do it yourself.
I've learned that nothing great is ever handed to you in life. When it came to addiction, no treatment center could have helped me until I made the personal commitment to do it for myself. Once I made that decision, I was able to utilize my intrinsic motivation to become sober.

Similarly, entrepreneurs succeed because of hard work and determination, not because of luck or a great idea. My business has succeeded and grown because I have dedicated my life to help rehabilitate people. It's not about the money; it's about the lives my company saves and the positive impact we make in society.

Play to your strengths and experience.
After I became sober, I didn't try to learn how to code and build the next Instagram; instead, I evaluated my strengths and passions and decided how I could best utilize my skills to create a product for people that I understand and can relate to.

Early in my career, I was one of the top salespeople for GM. I utilized my sales abilities to get a loan from the bank to start my own rehabilitation center. I then utilized the same sales abilities to show people why my curriculum is different and has a better chance at helping them beat their addiction than any other curriculum in the industry. It was my abilities that got us our first patients, which allowed us to grow to where we are today.

No matter how large the obstacle, you have it in you to overcome it and succeed in life. Use my story as fuel to light your fire, overcome your obstacles, and make a positive impact in society.
Per Wickstrom is the president and founder of Best Drug Rehabilitation, a rehabilitation center focused on helping people beat their addiction through holistic and natural methods.
For more on addiction and recovery, click here

And look who slithered out from under a big, spiny rock to comment about our boy Per--the man from PITA himself, 
William Kent (Mac) McGregor.  I refer you to Dave Touretzky's superb recap of McGregor's "illustrious career" including sexual assault and Scientology:
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Stop-Narconon/Kent_McGregor/ 

09:50 AM on 11/16/2012
Great Article! I was a leader in the alcohol and other drug field for years before I retired and I reviewed over 150 rehab centers in the US and Europe. I can vouch for what Mr. Wickstrom is saying in his article. Narconon is the most effective treatment modality available. Across the board, their graduates make more significant and positive changes in their lives than any other type of treatment. Alcoholics and drug addicted persons graduate from their program believing in themselves and being able to demonstrate their strength through their work and their higher level of ethics. It is a very functional program and many, including a loved one in my family that was diagnosed by three other centers as being incurable, are doing well and thankful that they found the tools that work in repairing their lives.
Mac McGregor LADC, DBAE, IC&RC 
 
I wonder how he kept a straight face when he wrote this...I couldn't even keep a straight face when I read it!
 
Bwahaha!

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